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Red skies at Ruby Beach
Our National Park Week virtual tour comes to a close at sunset on Ruby Beach, one of the many stunning corners of Olympic National Park in Washington state. A few miles from the shore is Destruction Island, where birds such as rhinoceros auklets may stop and rest after a day of gobbling up krill and squid in the cold Pacific waters. ...

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Pixar artists behind hits like Cars, Toy Story 4, and Onward are showing fans how to draw with Pixar in online video tutorials showing their processes.
Pixar Artists Teach You How to Draw With Pixar During Quarantine – /Film


Watch this video. In only a minute or so you can explore the night skies around planet Earth through a compilation of stunning timelapse sequences. The presentation will take you to sites in the United States, Germany, Russia, Iran, Nepal, Thailand, Laos and China. You might even catch the view from a small island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean. But remember that while you're home tonight, the night sky will come to you. Look up and celebrate the night during this International Dark Sky Week.
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Eye on the Milky Way

Have you ever had stars in your eyes? It appears that the eye on the left does, and moreover it appears to be gazing at even more stars. The featured 27-frame mosaic was taken last July from Ojas de Salar in the Atacama Desert of Chile. The eye is actually a small lagoon captured reflecting the dark night sky as the Milky Way Galaxy arched overhead. The seemingly smooth band of the Milky Way is really composed of billions of stars, but decorated with filaments of light-absorbing dust and red-glowing nebulas. Additionally, both Jupiter (slightly left the galactic arch) and Saturn (slightly to the right) are visible. The lights of small towns dot the unusual vertical horizon. The rocky terrain around the lagoon appears to some more like the surface of Mars than our Earth.

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Peter Beard, the photographer with a famed body of work and perhaps an equally famous social life, was found dead in Montauk on Sunday at 82. He had dementia and experienced at least one stroke, the New York Times reported, and had disappeared from his home there nearly three weeks ago.

Beard’s primary subject over his long career was African nature and wildlife. ...
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Photographer Peter Beard Dead At 82 | Vanity Fair


Step into the dark
We're on the Isle of Skye, a fitting locale to celebrate the beginning of International Dark Sky Week, and not just because of its name. The Isle of Skye is one of several parts of Scotland that are set aside as Dark Sky parks, where the lack of artificial light makes stargazing a spectacular event, with or without a telescope.
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He swathed his nudes and still lifes of eggs, vases, bottles and bowls in a breathless, deceptively serene atmosphere heavy with mystery.
William Bailey, Modernist Figurative Painter, Dies at 89 - The New York Times

Social distancing means that we’re all spending a lot more time at home, canceling or rescheduling vacations, and probably not going out to things like movies and museums. Staying at home doesn’t mean you can’t experience a little travel, and maybe a little culture, from your home computer.
Virtually Tour These 500+ Museums and Galleries From Your Couch


National Park Week begins
To kick off National Park Week, which starts today, we're turning our lens on Vernal Fall in California's Yosemite National Park. This time of year, the waterfall flows in a torrent, but by late summer it can be reduced to a trickle of small streams slipping over the edge. ...

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The American flag was projected onto the Matterhorn, one of the highest mountains in the Swiss Alps, to spread “hope and solidarity” during the coronavirus outbreak.

The illumination was done by Gerry Hofstetter, a “light art innovator,” as part of a series featuring the flags of the nations affected by the viral pandemic.
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Artist Projected American Flag onto Swiss Alps:


It's a ruff life
Native to forests rich in aspens and poplars across Canada and the US, ruffed grouse are nonmigratory birds who spend their entire lives in the same area. This one's posing for us in the forest of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario, Canada. ...

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Bridges to the past . . .
The story of this sandstone formation in southeastern Utah's Natural Bridges National Monument begins around 10 million years ago. That's when tectonic shifts began slowly lifting what is now the 130,000-square-mile Colorado Plateau above the surrounding plains. In ensuing eons, the Colorado River's many streams eroded the elevated land, threading it with deep canyons. When water broke through one canyon wall into another canyon, sometimes a natural bridge like this one remained above the breach.
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Mike Lavallee, the artist behind "True Fire," has died at the age of 60. Lavallee suffered a stroke on April 6 and suffered from a brain bleed. Lavallee was the owner of Killer Paint.
Mike Lavallee Dies: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know | Heavy.com


A Cosmic Triangle

It was an astronomical triple play. Setting on the left, just after sunset near the end of last month, was our Moon -- showing a bright crescent phase. Setting on the right was Venus, the brightest planet in the evening sky last month -- and this month, too. With a small telescope, you could tell that Venus' phase was half, meaning that only half of the planet, as visible from Earth, was exposed to direct sunlight and brightly lit. High above and much further in the distance was the Pleiades star cluster. Although the Moon and Venus move with respect to the background stars, the Pleiades do not -- because they are background stars. In the beginning of this month, Venus appeared to move right in front of the Pleiades, a rare event that happens only once every eight years. The featured image captured this cosmic triangle with a series of exposures taken from the same camera over 70 minutes near Avonlea, Saskatchewan, Canada. The positions of the celestial objects was predicted. The only thing unpredicted was the existence of the foreground tree -- and the astrophotographer is still unsure what type of tree that is.

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A Sailing Stone across Death Valley

How did this big rock end up on this strange terrain? One of the more unusual places here on Earth occurs inside Death Valley, California, USA. There a dried lakebed named Racetrack Playa exists that is almost perfectly flat, with the odd exception of some very large stones, one of which is pictured here in April of 2019 beneath a dark, Milky-Way filled sky. Now the flatness and texture of large playa like Racetrack are fascinating but not scientifically puzzling -- they are caused by mud flowing, drying, and cracking after a heavy rain. Only recently, however, has a viable scientific hypothesis been given to explain how heavy sailing stones end up near the middle of such a large flat surface. Unfortunately, as frequently happens in science, a seemingly surreal problem ends up having a relatively mundane solution. It turns out that in winter thin ice sheets form, and winds push ice sections laden with even heavy rocks across the temporarily slick playa when sunlight melts the ice.

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Think deep thoughts
Some of you Navy vets—and fans of '20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,' 'The Hunt for Red October,' or 'Das Boot'—might get a familiar wave of claustrophobia from today's picture. For National Submarine Day, we're in the forward engine room of the USS Drum, a historic US Navy submarine displayed at Battleship Memorial Park in Mobile, Alabama. The Drum was the first deployed of the Gato-class subs—the line of boats that, with variations, made up most of the US submarine force during World War II. Decommissioned shortly after the war, the submarine is now in dry dock and open for public tours.
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One of the best ways to relax at home and escape from the world is to pull out some paint and brushes and let your imagination run wild. Whether you’ve never picked up a paint brush or you consider yourself a pro, painting is an activity that anyone can do, no matter your skill level. Once you’ve decided you want to start painting, you’ll need to consider what type of paint and surface you want to use to bring your creation to life. ...
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The Best Acrylic Paint Sets on Amazon – SheKnows


A Flow of Time

This surreal timelapse, landscape, panorama spans predawn, blue hour, and sunrise skies. Close to the start of planet Earth's northern hemisphere spring, the flow of time was captured between 4:30 and 7:00 am from a location overlooking northern New Mexico's Rio Grande Valley. In tracked images of the night sky just before twilight begins, the Milky Way is cast across the southern (right) edge of the panoramic frame. Toward the east, a range of short and long exposures resolves the changing brightness as the Sun rises over the distant peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains. In between, exposures made during the spring morning's tantalizing blue hour are used to blend the night sky and sunrise over the high desert landscape.

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It’s Unicorn Day! To honor the mythical horned beast, we bring you the next best thing: a pod of narwhals in the Arctic Ocean. Narwhals develop only two teeth, but the left canine can grow into a 9 ft-long spiral tusk. As it juts out of the top of their head, it's earned them the nickname, 'unicorn of the sea'.


Santorini through the clouds
With its romantic sunsets, dazzling ocean views, and whitewashed buildings clinging to rocky clifftops, the Greek island of Santorini (aka Thera or Thira) is the very picture of an idyll in the Aegean. But this tranquil scene belies the island's explosive geologic history, for this is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. The Minoan eruption, about 3,600 years ago, caused the center of the Thera volcano to collapse into the ocean, leaving Santorini a jagged, crescent-shaped moon atop the sea.
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